Roasted Beet Winter Chicken Salad

You'd be amazed at the number of new vegetables I have learned how to cook over the last few years. I had never even TOUCHED a beet in my life until I started GAPS! I'd never given as much as a thought to buying seasonal produce and or varying my nutrient uptake. Thank goodness for groups like Weston A Price Foundation and others whose missions have helped spread the word about simple, traditional, and healthy practices that keep us humans healthy and strong:)

Buying seasonal produce is one of those practices that can really help maintain our health. Eating local produce that's in season provides means that the fruits and vegetables you're eating have been picked and sold to you with an incredible amount of nutrients still present. The earlier fruits and vegetables are picked before they are ripe and the longer they sit after being picked (and that means WITHIN A FEW DAYS)  the less nutrients they contain--and as an added downer, the less flavor they will have.

Eating locally also helps maintain the integrity of your produce because local farmers generally have much better crop rotation and nutrient-dense soil than large corporate farms. If you buy locally, you will be buying what the local farmers can grow at the time, as well as food that's been picked and brought to you straight from the source.

And since we're here to live a full and rich life with health and strength, eating nutrient dense food is what we need:)

I was completely new to this when I first started eating whole foods to heal my gut and it took a while to figure out what was in season after the farmers markets closed for the summer.

I hadn't had a lot of luck with beets before and had never EVER bought beets to actually cook with--I would only ever juice them! But I knew they were in season and so I figured I should give them a try.

My first couple attempts at eating beets weren't good--I found I didn't like them steamed or boiled. I was about to give up on them until one day I decided to try roasting them in the oven with a little coconut oil. They were absolutely delicious! The sweetness really came out and they had a much better texture.  I thoroughly gobbled up a couple roasted beets all by themselves--which definitely caused a little bit of a shock in the bathroom the next day... if you know what I mean;)

I liked them so much I decided to come up with a salad that would compliment them. I came up with a fun roasted beet winter chicken salad using some leftover squash and apples from the fall, some chicken for a nice, hearty protein, and a handful of pecans for a little crunch. It was wonderful and I've made it three times within the last few weeks! I didn't find the need to add any dressing since the squash and beets were already roasted in coconut oil, but if you find you want a little more depth, feel free to drizzle with with a little bit of your favorite vinaigrette.

Anyways, I think you'll like it! Tell me what you think in the comments below!

 

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Winter Roasted Beet Salad
Author: Amy MoffatPrep time: 5 minCook time: 20 minServings: 4

Ingredients:

1 lb butternut squash, peeled and diced
2 red beets, sliced thin or diced
2 Tbsp coconut oil, melted
4-5 garlic cloves, minced
1 apple, diced
12 oz cooked, shredded chicken
Handful chopped pecans

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400°
In a medium mixing bowl, toss the beets in 1/2 Tbsp coconut oil until lightly coated. Spread evenly on a baking sheet
In a separate bowl, combine squash and garlic cloves and toss with 1 1/2 Tbsp coconut oi until lightly coated. Spread evenly on a baking sheet.
Roast vegetables at 400° for 20 minutes. Remove and let cool.
Toss with apples, cooked chicken, and pecans.
Serve chilled or at room temperature.

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